Historical Who is Who
1916 - 2000
Chosen as Prime Minister of Ceylon following her husband’s assassination. She was the first woman PM of modern times anywhere in the
world. Her political beliefs were in democratic socialism and she pursued these to overcome the remaining elements of colonialism – changing the country’s name to Sri Lanka, the capital from Kandy to Colomo and the national language from English to Sinhalese. Her religious beliefs
were Buddhist. They informed her foreign policy intiatives in non-alignment; less positively, along with the quite limited social contact she had with members of the Tamil Hindu minority at home, they explain her inattention to their economic and political interests.